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Isotrex.

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I know that theres someone on this forum with the theory that ISOTREX is now allowed in the states because its "simply inferior" to Retin-A etc, but Its what my doctor has prescriped me after derm suggestion.

I don't see much evidence that it's any less potent than topical retanoids, since it's a topical form of RO-ACCUTANE.

I've been on it for just over a week and a half now and my skin isn't looking great. Its smoothing out, but its also red and pale and i've noticed a lot of small whiteheads that are barely visible appearing out of nowhere.

A few questions

1. Is the paleness normal? How long will it last? I have an Egypt vacation late March planned and I need to know what procedures i should be taking for that.

2. How long can i expect the small pimples for?

3. Does ISOTREX have the same qualities for skin and wrinkle repair as RETIN-A etc? I ask because i have a lot of red marks that could do with fading assistance.

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anyone?

I've also noticed a LOT of tiny pimples appearing basically all over my face. They aren't super visible unless i stand under a very harsh light. But you know, who says i should have to be afraid of very harsh light!

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Oh and for the record im in my third week now and my skin is not looking good. Small pimples everywhere. Big red marks from old pimples which errupted just before i started. Seems to be helping keep giant pimples away but has certainly brought up a lot of hidden pimples and given me pimples on my forehead where i didnt think i had any before.

Anyone else had this? Does it pass?

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i have used this ISOTREX gel once, it wasnt good.

yeh its the same as Retin-A, i didnt give it enough time because it kept making things worse.

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i gave it about 1 week, but i got a few cysts then i just left it.

back on BP and green tea.

I sometimes apply bp in the morning and am a big green tea and lemon fan. I find cutting out coke and chocolate helps my complexion too.

Since starting Istotrex i really have noticed a decline in new major spots. All acne i have right now is acne i had before starting, the major acne has all improved, but i have noticed any under-the-skin acne like whiteheads are coming to the surface more often now. Anything that may have seemed like a "nothing" before has become more prominent, but i've only had maybe 3-4 new spots in the three weeks ive been on istroex, and they've come and gone quickly.

Interestingly, my forehead broke out all over in tiny little spots in week two, but they have started to clear up a lot already. Since ive not had a cystic reaction to Istroex im going to stick it through until week 10 at least, if theres no significant improvements by then - i may give up amd move to another retanoid.

Another thing ive noticed is that things stay red longer on isotrex.

I do think im going to give it a chance, but as i say, if by my holiday to egypt late may it's not cleared up, then i'll switch to another topical.

I find BP only worked for me for about a year then i broke out majorly.

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Hi, I've been on Isotrex cream for 3 and a half weeks now too, which is when I also started on Yasmin BCP and have Basocin (topical Clindamycin) for on the spot treatment. At first my skin started smoothing out and peeling, but after 2 weeks or so I started getting all the whiteheads that you were talking about and had 4 nastily inflammed spots in a week (I usually only had one beast of a spot at a time). But as you said, I have the impression that these were sleeping monsters that were just brought to the surface by the Isotrex. Like you, I seem to have quite a bit of irritation but I also feel like my spots are healing and scabbing over faster and the whiteheads are tiny and pretty easy to remove. So I've got mixed feelings about it, but I'm going to stick with it. Let me know how you're getting on!

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Hi, I've been on Isotrex cream for 3 and a half weeks now too, which is when I also started on Yasmin BCP and have Basocin (topical Clindamycin) for on the spot treatment. At first my skin started smoothing out and peeling, but after 2 weeks or so I started getting all the whiteheads that you were talking about and had 4 nastily inflammed spots in a week (I usually only had one beast of a spot at a time). But as you said, I have the impression that these were sleeping monsters that were just brought to the surface by the Isotrex. Like you, I seem to have quite a bit of irritation but I also feel like my spots are healing and scabbing over faster and the whiteheads are tiny and pretty easy to remove. So I've got mixed feelings about it, but I'm going to stick with it. Let me know how you're getting on!

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and by the way, from using Proactiv my face went from teenage acne to crystal clear for months. Not even a blemish or red mark.

then brokeout again worse than ever. Tried the regimen which actually worsened my acne significantly, then was put on duac which didnt help much either. Finally moved to retanoids recently and Isotrex is my first. I sometimes spot treat with BP in the mornings. Its totally awful looking now.

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God my breakout is just getting worse and worse. My mother for the first time changed her tune from affirmation to worry today. Everyone tells me to go with it though,

is week 3.5 normal for the IB?

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Hi Michael, I'm so sorry about the breakout. I know what ur going through. My skin is pretty bad at the moment too -angry, red, inflamed, dry and peeling. Every time I think, OK this HAS to be the end, a new one pops up. But on the positive side I do feel like the whiteheads are much easier to extract, a little squeeze usually sorts them out if I'm patient and don't squeeze them too soon. Also I'm peeling so much that I have the feeling that once my spots have scabbed over that they heal faster than usual.

I was at the Derm yesterday (4 wks after starting treatment) and she said that I should really stick with it for 8 weeks in total before I judge it. So I'm going to do that. I also started using an old favourite moisturiser again -Lancome Aquafusion gel cream and although it stung a bit this morning when I put it on (which it had never done before) it seems to be doing a better job at keeping my skin moisturised than any of the other creams I'd tried. I can highly recommend it. Are you also using a good sunscreen every day? Apparently this is really important. I'm totally guessing here, but it could be that part of your redness is due to increased sun sensitivity which happens on retinoid treatment.

BTW, just out of interest how old are you? I'm 31 and my acne is hormonal. Have you had a follow up with your Derm? And have you had any cystic acne since starting Isotrex? Or is it all relatively close to the surface?

Good luck and keep me posted!

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Hi Michael, I'm so sorry about the breakout. I know what ur going through. My skin is pretty bad at the moment too -angry, red, inflamed, dry and peeling. Every time I think, OK this HAS to be the end, a new one pops up. But on the positive side I do feel like the whiteheads are much easier to extract, a little squeeze usually sorts them out if I'm patient and don't squeeze them too soon. Also I'm peeling so much that I have the feeling that once my spots have scabbed over that they heal faster than usual.

I was at the Derm yesterday (4 wks after starting treatment) and she said that I should really stick with it for 8 weeks in total before I judge it. So I'm going to do that. I also started using an old favourite moisturiser again -Lancome Aquafusion gel cream and although it stung a bit this morning when I put it on (which it had never done before) it seems to be doing a better job at keeping my skin moisturised than any of the other creams I'd tried. I can highly recommend it. Are you also using a good sunscreen every day? Apparently this is really important. I'm totally guessing here, but it could be that part of your redness is due to increased sun sensitivity which happens on retinoid treatment.

BTW, just out of interest how old are you? I'm 31 and my acne is hormonal. Have you had a follow up with your Derm? And have you had any cystic acne since starting Isotrex? Or is it all relatively close to the surface?

Good luck and keep me posted!

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Saw a doctor about my acne yesterday

She was

a) unfamiliar with isotrex

b) very very surprised that my derm and doctor put me on it without my doctor actually having prescribed it to anyone before

c) Quite annoyed for me in relation to my dermatologist who "fobbed me off" and my doctor who just prescribed whatever without knowing anything about it

She told me to give it a few more weeks, and if my skin significantly worsens any further by mid march then think about switching.

She also gave me a two month Eryhromycin prescription in addition.

My status update:

The left hand side of my face which was BADLY broken out has started to clear up a bit. My chin looks bumpy right now, i shaved tonight, and ive got a few minor blemishes on my forehead (and lots of tiny spots you cant really see)

Infact, the left handside clear up has been pretty remarkable. Early this week i had lots of huge, scabby red bits on my face where major acne had appeared. Now most of them are very light red marks, although there are a few darker ones. Never had them go this quickly.

The forehead and chin spots came with the isotrex. They arent vastly noticable. What is noticble is that the Isotrex has re-activated some old acne on the right hand side of my face, and made it very red and agressive. But its very little actual active acne on my face right now. Most of it is just old ones purging and drying up rather quickly. I mean, i don't want to get ahead of myself, but i feel as though the worst of my IB may be over. Lets not jinx it!

My face is looking better now than it did late last week. I have maybe 4 or 5 active whiteheads altogehter. Im used to having 10 or 11. So im happy about that. My skin also feels very smooth in non-acne areas right now, and peeling is decreasing,

One concern i am having is my current clogged pores. I mean, the ones i mentioned on my forehead and chin are mainly clogged pores, and they are impossible to get out without making things worse.

Oh well, next appointment is with a nurse on the 5th and hopefully by then i'll be well on my way! My doctor who was infront of me told me i should give it some more time, but that changing was an option if my skin continued to decline.

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Not a good day.

Jinxed it.

Lefthandside broke out with three/four minor spots.

Chin is covered in tiny little bumps.

Nose funnily had a rare spot

Forehead is doing okay

Righthandside continues to break out severely. Three of the spots are almost cystic in nature, i popped one tonight on accident and it literally had FIVE vents for whatever was inside. Disgusting. Painful. Huge. It feels like it was five spots come together actually.

Anyone else had that on isotrex? My face is looking shocking and im very afraid of scarring at this stage.

Also very depressed feeling, but ive been depressed about my acne for a while, it has definitely worsened on isotrex though, but had been worsening progressively beforehand anyway.

The worst part is the lack of information on the doctors front. Doctors and derms seem really fucking clueless and do not re-assure acne sufferers of much at all. Im visiting a nurse in a few weeks, hopefully my skin will be on the up by then, if not i might consider changing.

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Update:

I have 3 or 4 "lumpy" spots right now. Inflammed acne for sure. A variety of smaller ones. But i feel like, touch wood, its for the best.

Went drinking last night which gave me two new spots today. My skin was NEVER sensitive to alcohol before. It also was not as oily/dry as it is now. Its seriously like one time ill touch it and flakes fall out on my hand then the next my skin is slicking oil.

Really getting annoyed about the little bumps all over right now. If it was just a few major spots id be pissed and self concious but its like wherever theres not a big spot, theres a blemish or small bump.

Im tired of stroking my face and feeling like its braille.

Giving this Isotrex until the end of March. If i still have issues then im probably going for Differin 0.1% or Retin-a

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Hi Michael

Sorry to hear about how badly things have been going for you. I remember I had my worst acne when I was your age (I'm 22 now) and how things have been improving and deteriorating in a cyclical manner since then. However, after these years my acne isn't so bad anymore.

I actually went to read up on Isotrex and its relation to Retin A. Apparently, there isn't much difference because isotretinoin of Isotrex gets metabolized into tretinoin of Retin A when it is absorbed by the skin.

I guess you're in week 4 of your usage? On a more postive note, it means that your inital breakout is ending soon. However, if you're still breaking out as badly even when you're between week 6 and 8, then I think you should change your medication. I didn't get an initial breakout when I started on differin, and I thought it might be because I was on doxycycline. Since you can't take doxy, what about minocycline?

Also, I don't think the 'depression' you're having is related to the chemical effects of Isotrex. The absorption rate into the bloodstream is very very low and won't affect your psychological state. You're probably feeling low because of the worsening of the acne.

Acne is a horrible thing to have and everyone who suffers from it wants it to go away in the fastest time possible. However it usually takes a long time to resolve and your frustration doesn't help things. So in the meantime, you just have to be patient and accept that you won't be having good skin for the time being, especially during the IB period.

I'll be visiting your log to see how things are going ;)

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heya there.

i have been on the same gel you are using, (isotrexin) for the last 3 years.

when i first started out on this gel, it made my skin irritated and new spots erupted.

but i stuck with it.

you should do the same.

my face is clear now from using this gel, and when new spots arrive, they go within a matter of days.

i use this gel at night times, as it peels your skin like crazy. in the morning, i use 2.5% benozyl peroxide and moisturize.

stick with it though, like all tropical treatments, it takes time.

steve

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Hey thanks for your replies

My breakout looked like it was getting better but its getting worse again

I have a skin nurse appointment tomorrow and im going to discuss with her wether its worth sticking on at Isotrex. Im in my fifth or sixth week now and it's been breakout hell thus far. I've had no relenting in the painful, nearly cystic spots and hundreds of smaller bumps ive been getting.

Red, peeling and angry face hasnt been great either. But ive got a new attitude to it, im not letting it depress me and crush my confidence any more. I just want to fix it! So in that spirit, im off out tonight, despite the fact that its definitely not a good night for my skin. I dont care.

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8.5 weeks in.

my skin is still miserable looking.

Now it has these dull blotchy brown "red marks" where id usually get red. I also have redness mind, and lots of tiny spots still. Funny how ive luckily had a decrease in major inflammatory acne but had a major increase in mild acne on Isotrex and Isotrexin.

Looks like I will be switching to Differin about week 10-11. They say you should start to see results after about 8 weeks. Ive seen only general worsening.

The results i have observed on Isotrex

+ Decrease in large inflamatory acne

+ Smoother Skin overall.

- Rapid increase in minor forehead acne where i never had it for a long time.

- Dryness on face.

- Dull complexion

- More acne on neck (not sure if related really)

- Spots tend to "bury" and linger bellow the surface.

- Much more minor chin acne.

- Redness looks angrier

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Im onto Differin from today on. Overall, Isotrexin helped me to an extent, but it also aggrivated my acne. I think it could definitely work for someone with another skin type, but my very sensitive, soft skin didn't react fantastically to its harshness

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Okay so today i was prescribed differin to go with my constant flow of eurthromycin.

I am going to trial differin for a few months and if my skin worsens significantly on it, we are switching back to isotrexin as i noticed the following in the past few days

- my skin has settled, is much less oily than it was in London, and isnt as agrivated.

- the right hand side of my face only gets a very occasional whitehead now, the main acne seems to be drying up.

- the left hand and forehad of my face still sucks and is worse than when i started.

These points make me question wether coming off of isotrexin right now is a good plan. But i know if i stuck on it i'd always be desperate to try differin instead due to the extremely slow progress made with isotrexin. So im going to try differin for a bit, let you guys know how thats going, then if it goes well, stick with it, if not, switch back to isotrexin.

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So im a couple of days into Differin now.

I noticed my skin has been looking a bit better. Less irritated, peely and angry, fewer new spots too, but have noticed tonight i have a lot of kind of congested pores and things which have obviously been there before. Just feels like a never ending cycle of new acne in development.

I have a question for everyone with acne.

Why the hell is it i have to wait until my acne gets "severe" before i find a treatment like accutane which is far more likely to work? Why am i made to suffer and basically go through potential acne scarring until i am allowed to walk in looking an absolute mess and finally be given accutane?

I appreciate why they try alternatives. But honestly.

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